Eco-friendly Westin opens in Avon
Vail, CO Colorado
AVON, Colorado ” The roof of the Westin Riverfront Resort and Spa in Avon is made of recycled tire rubber, and the employee uniforms are made of seaweed.
There are VIP parking spaces for guests driving hybrids. More than half the construction waste in the $500 million resort was recycled or salvaged.
The gypsum drywall was bought downvalley in Gypsum. There will be recycling stations for guests on every floor. Big windows fill rooms with daylight and cut down on electricity use.
The Westin Riverfront, which opened in Avon Thursday, is on track to become the first luxury resort in Colorado to be certified by Leaders in Energy and Environmental Design or LEED, said Julie Dunn, spokeswoman for the Westin.
LEED requires builders to meet strict environmental and efficiency standards, and the Westin should know in three months if it makes the cut.
The 19-acre resort also marks a major turning point for Avon, which is putting a lot of money into turning its cluttered downtown into a vibrant, urban and pedestrian friendly hub of shops and restaurants. The renewal will center around the town’s new Main Street, which will be built in Spring 2009.
The Westin Riverfront, just a short walk away from the planned Main Street, is the first major development of this renewal and exemplifies the kind of developments the town wants to bring in, said mayor Ron Wolfe.
“It’s going to show the way for other developments here,” Wolfe said. “When Walt Disney wanted to build in Florida, he knew he had to build the iconic building, and that is the castle. In our case, this is the Riverfront project.”
The Westin dedicated a five-acre park along the Eagle River to the town, and built the Riverfront Gondola Express, which takes skiers and snowboarders on a three-minute ride to Beaver Creek landing. (Skiers then have to ride two more lifts to get to the slopes).
Wolfe hopes to see more public amenities like the park come out of partnerships with future Main Street developers.
“It’s a development the town can be proud of ” it demonstrates the way development agreements should work,” Wolfe said.
The Westin will be successful largely because of the many improvements Avon is making to its downtown, said Harry Frampton, a partner with the Westin’s development group, East West Partners.
He points to Avon Station, the town’s new transportation hub, which makes it much easier for Avon residents and guests to come and go from the downtown area, he said.
“One of Vail’s greatest strengths is its bus system, and now Avon’s getting there,” Frampton said.
Bob Trotter, general manger of the Westin Riverfront, says this place is all about promoting “wellness” in its guests, and that begins from the bottom up ” from the materials used to build the resort, the lotions being used in Spa Anjali, to the food being served at Restaurant Avondale.
“Our goal is for the guests to feel better when they leave than when they arrived,” Trotter said.
Inside the resort itself, you’ll find contemporary looking furniture, rooms and decorations. Big floor to ceiling windows with views of Beaver Creek dominate the front lobby and several of the resort’s rooms.
The Westin features 210 guest rooms, ranging from studios to three-bedroom condos. You can buy a spot at the Westin, or drop in for a few days as a hotel guest.
Spa Anjali has more than 23,000 square feet of space, including workout rooms, personal trainers, yoga and spinning classes. Here, you can order spa treatments inspired by different mountain ranges ” the Rockies, the Himalayas and the Swiss Alps.
Restaurant Avondale, featuring seasonal menus and local ingredients, is being run by local restaurateur and chef Thomas Salamunovich, the man behind Larkspur in Vail and Larkburger in Edwards.
You’ll find a 25-meter lap pool, treated with saltwater instead of chlorine. There’s a ski-valet with a “boot-up” lobby. From the Westin, you can easily walk to a 40-mile Riverfront biking trail, fishing spots and places to launch a kayak.
The rooms feature kitchens, gas fire places, LCD flat screen televisions and desks with wireless Internet access.
Staff Writer Matt Terrell can be reached at 970-748-2955 or email@example.com.
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